Sunday, August 21, 2005



Thursday, August 18, 2005

Pagan Beliefs vs Semetic faiths

Pasting a discussion i had on the Pagalguy forum some time ago.

Me: Here's an interesting distinction between pagan and semetic religions.
Semetic(abrahamic religions): God is an unknown entity to be feared.
Pagan religions(including Hinduism) : God is a familiar lovable benefactor whose refuge can be sought in troubled times.

Provocative distinction,eh?

X: I think you have got it the other way round. In the Theistic religions the very purpose of man is to love God and worship him while in quite a few pagan religions the Gods are more to be appeased.

Me: How can you truly love god if he is impersonal as is the case with Islam?
What marks out pagan religions is that they are not revelatory in nature.
There is no absolute truth or a dual state of heaven or hell.
Take for instance Hinduism where you either attain salvation by leading a flawless/virtuous life or you are born again to redeem yourself. Here God is more of a gentle overseer of your conduct who doesn't punish the errant by banishing them to Hell, instead gives you another chance to redeem yourself.
The concept of 'Judgement day' is conspicuous by its absence in pagan religions.

PS: But as you said, there is a strong tendency to appease gods in pagan religions. But the appeasement is not exacted by god. It is just a human failing. Whereas in a semetic faith, guidelines for good conduct are a part of the revelation itself. ex: pray 5 times a day,don't look at an idol or else ......

Pour in with your views.



Monday, August 15, 2005

"This left and right thing is a great crippler of thought"

Jargon dominates political discourse these days.Even on a public forum like orkut, you are asked to sum up your political predilection with one of those cliched phrases-right-conservative/left-liberal et al. Politics of common-sense takes a backseat. Instead, positioning/branding oneself favorably using a cliched,poorly understood term is the order of the day.Sad...
This is what Naipaul had to say about the deleterious impact of political jargon:

Nearly thirty years ago I went to Argentina. It was at the time of the guerrilla crisis. People were waiting for the old dictator PerĂ³n to come back from exile. The country was full of hate. Peronists were waiting to settle old scores. One such man said to me, "There is good torture and bad torture." Good torture was what you did to the enemies of the people. Bad torture was what the enemies of the people did to you. People on the other side were saying the same thing. There was no true debate about anything. There was only passion and the borrowed political jargon of Europe. I wrote, "Where jargon turns living issues into abstractions, and where jargon ends by competing with jargon, people don't have causes. They only have enemies.... This left and right thing is a great crippler of thought"


Saturday, August 13, 2005


Was reading Robert McCrum's much acclaimed biography of PG Wodehouse.
Accounts of Plum's brief career in the bank and his travails as a freelance writer are very revealing. Some of the snippents extracted from Plum's By-the-Way column in The Globe 'seem stiff and unfunny' and are a far cry from the virtuoso Jeeves and Blandings novels of the thirties and forties.
Take for instance this piece from one of his columns in the Globe:

Herr Nyman, a poet of the young Finnish School, has been expelled from the native town by the Russian authorities. Their idea is to make him a young Finished poet.

or this:

After forty-six years the widow of an Indian mutiny veteran has just obtained her husband's share of the Lucknow prize money. He was in Lucknow; she is in luck now.

Funny, but seems as though the young Wodehouse was trying too hard to make an impression.



Friday, August 12, 2005


The word 'voracious' yields close to 700000 search results on Google.
The phrase 'voracious reader' in quotes produces nearly 150000 results.
Hmm.Approximately one in four times,'voracious' is used in conjunction with 'reader'.
That's interesting. The ratio could well be half if one takes into account related phrases like 'voracious reading'. Can't think of any other adjective in the dictionary that exhibits such a strong association with a particular subject.



Wednesday, August 10, 2005


This site is certified 50% EVIL by the Gematriculator

This Website indicates the degree of evil content on your webpage.Heights of joblessness.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Perceptive Comment

I never cease to be surprised by the insights provided by the seemingly mundane comments on blogs.
Here is one by Siddarth on the Mumbai Catastrophe in the Secular-Right blog:

It's a sorry state of affairs that the government had no agency to help the people in emergencies like this. It looks like there is no government when we need one. And of course, there is lot of government when we don't need one -- running airlines, petrol pumps etc. I don't blame the politicians or bureaucrats for this sorry state of affairs. I blame the vast majority of indians who still continue to support the twisted priority of the role of the state.


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